Nehemiah 12:1 Commentary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
1. Now these … Jeshua ] Cf. Ezr 2:1.
For the list beginning with Seraiah, see the parallel list of names in Neh 10:3-9 and Neh 12:12-21. The Ezra mentioned in this verse and Neh 12:13 must not be confounded with ‘the Scribe:’ he appears in Neh 10:3 as Azariah.
The following table gives a comparison of the three lists:
We have, therefore, 22 priestly houses recorded, and there can be little doubt that the number 24 had been restored, but that two of the names have dropped out either in the course of transcription or in consequence of the defectiveness of the original lists. Of the four priestly houses who are mentioned in the lists of Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7 as having gone up out of the captivity with Zerubbabel, i.e. Jedaiah, Immer, Pashhur, Harim, we find here the names of (22) Jedaiah and (8) Rehum = Harim. Immer may possibly be concealed in the name of (4) Amariah. Pashhur has dropped out entirely. The opinion of some is that the similarity of names in these lists is accidental, and that the three lists give us the names of individuals living at three different periods, Neh 12:1-7 in the days of Zerubbabel, Neh 10:1-8 in the days of Eliashib, Neh 12:12-21 in the days of Joiakim, which happen very often to resemble one another. But the improbability of this needs no demonstration.
1, 2. Measures taken to increase the number of dwellers in Jerusalem.
This passage seems to take up the thread which had been dropped at Neh 7:4. Nehemiah had been rendered anxious by the fewness of the inhabitants in proportion to the size of the area of the city. The census which he undertook reminded him of the old register which had come to his notice (Neh 7:6-73); the memoirs of Nehemiah were then interrupted by a description of the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Solemn Covenant (8 10). The Compiler returning to the subject of the paucity of dwellers in Jerusalem, briefly describes the method adopted of increasing their number, probably epitomizing the account which Nehemiah’s own Memoirs contained.
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The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges is a biblical commentary set published in parts by Cambridge University Press from 1882 onwards. Anglican bishop John Perowne was the general editor. The first section published was written by theologian Thomas Kelly Cheyne and covered the Book of Micah.
Perowne exercised limited editorial control over the writers of individual commentaries: his aim was "to leave each contributor to the unfettered exercise of his own judgment".